LAS VEGAS The dog of choice in the Grimes household: huskies, not Huskies.
Greg Grimes, a senior defensive tackle for the Boise State football team, is the son of former Washington Huskies starter Greg Grimes. The elder Grimes was a starting safety from 1977 to 1979 and was part of the 1978 Rose Bowl championship team.
He wears his ring every day of his life, the younger Grimes said.
This week, though, hell be cheering for the Broncos.
Hes pure Bronco right now, Grimes said. He converted a while ago, when I signed my name on the National Letter of Intent.
Grimes never attended a Washington football game and grew up cheering for the schools closer to his home in Sacramento, Calif. He did make an unofficial visit to Washington in high school.
And its true he and his dad own huskies they got them as Christmas presents last year.
But theres no purple shrine in the family home.
We just love the dogs, he said.
Grimes didnt begin playing football until his freshman year of high school. He grew up playing basketball with his friends.
Being my dads son, I had to at least try to play football, he said. So I did. And I ended up loving it. Ive been bred to be physical. Everything I do is physical. Playing basketball is even physical, so it just came natural for me.
Grimes chose Boise State over San Diego State and Utah State out of high school. His career had been riddled with injuries until this season, when he became a regular contributor for the first time.
He has played in every game a career first and made a career-high 26 tackles. He is the backup nose tackle for the bowl game, behind junior Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe.
Hes done great, defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said. Gregs another one of those guys who has been in the program a long time. He got that opportunity to play a lot more this year. Hes embraced that opportunity and hes been doing a great job for us.
The program, Grimes said, taught him how to fight through adversity. Succeeding as a senior has been special to him.
Its just really been like icing on the cake for me, he said. Ive enjoyed the whole process of being here.
Hell celebrate his final college football game with a host of family members on hand, including grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins some of whom havent seen him play.
His husky, Icey, recently made the journey from Boise to California. Grimes has earned his communication degree and will move back to California after the bowl game.
My parents came and picked (Icey) up after the senior game, he said. Its sad, but hes ready and Im ready to move on.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat